Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review: Justice League 3001 #10

Justice League 3001 #10 came out last week and, as we are nearing the end of this book, the plots are sort of rushing to the end. Amazingly, the creative team continues to add elements to this book despite knowing that the finale is only a couple of months away.

Writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis have been playing in the DC toybox, picking and choosing who they want to write regardless of continuity. The result has been a weird, wild book which has been incredibly entertaining. So imperfect clones of classic JLA, a Silver Age Supergirl, a Bwa-Ha-Ha JLI contingent are all fighting universal threats and an evil Legion of Super-Heroes. In this issue, despite a full cast of characters, they add a couple more. Now G'Nort and Larfleeze are in the mix! I would love to know how the two decided who was going to come into the book.

The art for the last few issues has been split between Scott Kolins and Colleen Doran. Both bring an appropriate sensibility to their stories. Kolins has a grimy, raw feel to his pages which works well with the League scouring planets which have been leveled. Meanwhile, Doran brings a more polished look to her story involving Lois Lane and Ariel Masters trying to defeat Lady Styx from behind the scenes.

Since Lady Styx has overrun the universe, the League has been in hiding. But right now the team is split up on missions. Fire, Ice, and Supergirl have gone to the planet Bodhi only to find it razed.

Now last issue, we saw Fire pushing Supergirl for being overly cautious. Bea thinks the League needs to act rather than skulking around. Now, upon seeing Bodhi in ruins, Supergirl loses her cool. She lashes out at the bug-like aliens which are scouring the landscape.

In her first appearances in this book, Kara was very proactive and seemed ready to act. Seeing her struggle with her role as leader and laying low has been interesting. Here, I think she is just frustrated for the League's inability to make any progress. This angry Kara impresses Fire but scares Ice.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Flash have come to realize that the Scullion robots act as a hive mind which leads them back to their old enemy The Convert. He was one of 'The Five' who fought the League back in Justice League 3000. He is a being of pure consciousness who can control any number of beings.

In an interesting reveal, he talks about being a follower of Lady Styx for years. His work with The Five was really him being an undercover agent for Styx. He has been manipulating things for his mistress all along.

He even says that Lady Styx could have destroyed the League at any time but she likes having them around as a challenge, a diversion.

Calling back to the older villains and plots also gives this book some depth. This isn't all fun cameos.

Back on Naltor, The Convert tells Lady Styx what he has told the League members. She laughs. Her plan is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. I wonder if we as readers will ever grasp the entirety of her plan. Is there enough time for the creators to reveal it.

This scene is Kolins strongest. In this hell-like environment, Styx is wonderfully renderered. And the Convert, with his Illuminati symbol head, is a great design.

Styx's plans become even more complex. On Bodhi, the League runs into G'Nort. He leads a crew of scavengers who go to the planets that Styx has demolished and gather whatever of value is left.

Why would Styx bulldoze a planet she controls? What does it gain her? I don't know if get what she is up to.

I do love Kara's response to G'Nort. When Styx overwhelms a planet like this, she commits genocide. How could G'Nort just sit back and watch. This is the Supergirl I love, fiery in the face of injustice.

G'Nort is working for his cousin Larfleeze.

In another interesting wrinkle, Supergirl knows who Larfleeze is. But would the Silver Age Kara know this? Of course, this Supergirl has been living here for about a year so might have done her research.

Now how could G'Nort and Larfleeze survive the 1000 years? Will we learn that?

And the continuity here, if there is any, is pretty loose.

Finally, back on Paradise Island, the last remaining Starro drone continues to follow Guy around. We haven't seen Guy in action for a while. She is still struggling with her host body over-writing the Guy persona. I am really hoping we get a satisfactory ending to this plot thread.

Guy and Starro are being spied on by the evil Shrinking Violet, who here appears to be normal sized but vibrating and invisible. This isn't your grandparent's Legion. Eclipso is leading them and biding his time.

That's a lot of plot lines in the main book that all need to come together in 2 short issues!

But wait, there's more.

We also get Ariel Masters and Lois Lane also working on defeating Lady Styx. They head to a hedonistic planet to find a potential ally in Sinestro. There they find Sinestro, mostly depowered, and working the pole as an exotic dancer. Now that is a weird turn. Maybe too weird?

Alas, he is also now working for Lady Styx. And when confronted by the two heroes, he calls in some Scullions. I have no idea how these two will get out of this jam.

Can I say, I absolutely adore the Lois costume here with the giant double L's holding her cape. I wish we got more of Lois backstory in this book. What Superman did to infuriate her and how she survived this long may never be answered.

I continue to be amazed at this book. It has the complicated plots of the Five Years Later Legion with the madness of Justice League International. I guess that is like comic book peanut butter and chocolate. Two great things mixed together. On top of that, I love the characterization we see of these characters. This is a great Supergirl and I'll be sad when I don't get to read her anymore. But Lois, Ariel, Diana ... they are all unique personalities.

Two more issues to go. Everyone should be grabbing this book before it leaves us.

Overall grade: B+


Anonymous said...

The first part of the book seemed a little aimless. It seems like Giffen and DeMatteis had very different and grander plans before the cancellation became imminent. Now it's little more than a setup for the inevitable "punch people until they fall down" plot in the last couple of issues.

I'll admit that the depowered Sinestro and exasperated (antimatter universe?) Lois were sufficiently bizarre and amusing that it rescued the issue for me.

Martin Gray said...

'...little more than a setup for the inevitable "punch people until they fall down" plot in the last couple of issues'? I'm rather bemused by this comment – Anj has just explained in detail why this comic is anything but. it's full of fascinating characters, intricate plotlines, strange worlds… It's just a wonderful superhero book, projecting outward from DC's unique history to give us a superhero book like no other.

Ah well, different strokes and all that.

As for how Kara knows Larfleeze, maybe there's an Earth One version she's heard of.

Just looking back at the art, I've seen things I missed previously – like the terrific composition that sees the scavengers travel from the top of one panel to the bottom and back, or the orange lanterns incorporated into Larfleeze's throne - just wonderful stuff. You can bet I'll be following Giffen and Kolins onto the new Blue Beetle comic.

Anj said...

I do feel that we are rushing to an end here. There were a lot of plots that appeared and disappeared quickly. Remember Jimmy? That weird prison?

Do I wish this book was continuing? Yes.

But I think if we are heading to a finale, this story is pulling it off.

Anonymous said...

Gonna miss this book when it goes Supergirl gets very few opportunities to shine in a legacy muscle/leadership role....lets hope the rebirth reboot explores this further (I am not holding my breath though...)